2019 #3 – Paul Coughlin

by | Sep 18, 2020 | 2019 Tethrd Ten


SADDLE GEAR: Mantis saddle, Predator platform, 3 LW sticks with daisy chains, 3 ez-aiders
LOCATION: Maryland

One of my best bucks to date and 2 days before Jesus’s birthday!!

It only takes minutes for your hunt to change

I went out for an evening hunt and was determined to go back to where I saw a bunch of buck sign and even had a good buck spook on me. The area I wanted to hunt was between two big bedding areas and normally you have to hunt all day or you will jump deer walking through it. I was willing to take the gamble.

The temp was in the 50’s, so I dressed light and threw my orange vest on. It was muzzleloader season and I decided to take the bow. I’m more comfortable with a bow and the area I was planning to hunt is thick anyway. I started heading to the spot and start jumping up deer everywhere. I thought to myself that they’ll probably loop around and come back to me. While walking through the first bedding spot I smelled a strong musky buck smell and saw fresh big tracks running the way I was planning to hunt. Rather then giving up I, knew I still had a chance with them coming back to their bedroom. I finally got to where I wanted to go and got set up around 230. I was hunting a funnel on an overgrown hillside with grape vines everywhere. The farthest shot I had was around 25 yards down hill. This is my favorite type of spot to hunt.

I was sitting for about an hour testing out my new saddle when I caught movement on a trail headed right to me. It was a giant 5 point buck that looked like “the bull” and he was headed right to me. I have so much history with this deer that I actually named him. This buck is easily 7 years old and if he gave me a shot I was definitely going to take it. He was walking right to me at about 60 yards when I felt a faint breeze hit the back of my neck…

The buck looked my way, did a 180, and took off with his tail flaring. I’m pretty sure that buck has 9 lives and he just used his 8th.

I was still optimistic being that it was still early, so I got back to testing out my saddle. The last hour was pretty slow and I was content with seeing the big 5 this time of year. The sun had set and it was about 5:00 pm. I started thinking it’s time to pack up when I caught movement again. It was two deer below me on a trail that had a shooting lane about 25 yards away from me. It was gray light now and I could only see the outline of the bodies and the closet one looked to be pretty big.

I grabbed my bow, got ready for a shot, and I accidentally broke a piece of bark from the sycamore tree that I was in. The deer stopped and looked my way with junk all in front of its body. I could see a gray face and it was a buck that had decent g2’s and 3’s. He started walking again and stopped perfectly in my shooting lane. I pulled back and put my 25 yard pin center right behind the shoulder, told myself to focus and slowly pulled back my thumb trigger.

I watched the blue Lumenock fly true right in the sweet spot and heard the infamous pop!! The buck turned and ran probably 50 yards. I heard what sounded like a deer crashing. I Looked at the blue nock and replayed the shot and had a great feeling. I even took a picture time stamped at 5:10.

I was pumped and started breaking my stuff down. Got down and bee-lined it to the arrow and saw one of the best arrows I’ve seen for a while. I took a picture and just walked right to where I heard the crash. Less then 50 yards away I saw a white belly. Of course I forgot my headlamp and had to use my phone light to walk up on the deer…which looked to have a big body.

I shined my phone light on him and it was a big ole heavy 10 pointer!!! I was pretty stoked until I realized that I have a 3/4 mile drag ahead of me. I looked at the buck again and realized I saw him once this year tending a doe. Later on I realized that I have some history with this deer. I’m about 80% sure I tagged this deer with my recurve 3 years ago and he should have a broad head stuck in his back strap. Of course I’m pretty busy with the family the next couple days. Will find out hopefully tomorrow.

For this time of year, I thank the good lord for blessing me with this opportunity at this awesome animal.